Rest and Recreation in Stockholm
I am in Stockholm in Sweden with my son Naresh and his family since June 6 for rest and recreation and recharging of batteries. It is called ‘Semester’ in Swedish, I understand to avail of ones vacations in Swedish parlance. As usual, the schedule remained hectic with labish wining and dining with my old friends and more so with the consciously cultivated and nurtured circle of friends of Anju and Naresh. I must add that social life of this circle is quite busy and they care and respect for each other thoroughly. It is a matter of satisfaction. I have already written in these columns about some of my activities during this visit to record my impressions and reflections as my pastime and hobby.
Today, I will write about yet another good experience in the course of my rest and recreation i.e. ‘Semester’ in Stockholm. Ajay Bains and his gracious wife Anmol, our family friends, treated us yesterday evening, July 21, in their own way with warm hospitality. They hosted us for good drinks on a luxurious ride on board of a ten metre long white Lincoln Limousine along with another friend of theirs, a highly placed executive of an airline stationed in Stockholm. Ajay runs successfully transport business to cater to the high end transport needs in Stockholm. After a good drive to the Arlanda airport, we went to the waterfront of Mälarin Lake in Sigtuna, a beautiful suburb of Stockholm and strolled around for a while. It was a pleasant and soothing experience on a beautiful summer evening. From there, we drove to a good Indian-Pakistani cuisine, grille and tandoor restaurant, Chili Masala, in Solna in the outskirts of Stockholm. It happened to be a good food outlet of one of our old acquaintances, Tony, a close relation of our friends of Pakistani origin, Salma and Slim in Tåby when I was posted here in the Indian Embassy in the early years of 1990s. The Menu card was nicely designed with catchy salutations - Valkommen, Salam, Namaste, Sat Sri Akal. Though the restaurant, in keeping with their practice and policy, did not serve alcoholic drinks and we had to contend ourselves without drinks, the food was good. Some of us, after the starters, even went out to the parked limousine, to have their fill for the evening. Perhaps, it was the one reason that our hosts thoughtfully decided to have drinks on the move on a luxurious ride. We concluded our dinner with creamy Kulfis, a much liked dessert in hot days. On return, we had a detour of the downtown Stockholm to drop one of the guests near the India House, official residence of the Indian Ambassador since our Independence in 1947 at Villagatan. By the time we returned to our humble abode at Uppland Våsby, It was already past midnight.
Thanks to Anmol and Ajay for the nice evening in the course of my recharging of batteries. I vividly recall that during our last visit in 2014, Ajay took us on a long drive through the countryside about which I wrote in my blog under the head ‘My Stockholm Diary - 16‘ on August 2, 2014 at: www.diplomatictitbits.blogspot.in